Hair Accessories: New Jennifer Behr x Nai’vasha Collab Is For Modern Warriors
Two years ago at the 2020 Grammys, Alicia Keys wore an array of striking embellished updos at the ceremony. The R&B icon’s sculptural hair is courtesy of her hairstylist, Nai’vashawhile the glittering custom hair accessories were provided by the accessory designer Jennifer Behr. “It was definitely the most fun I’ve had working with another artist,” Behr says, recalling the natural creative chemistry she and Nai’vasha shared while bringing the looks to life. “She has a natural eye for textures and patterns and loves to experiment with her work,” Behr continues. “It made the collaboration process so easy.” Of all the looks, there was one in particular, a layered placement of rich golden flowers pinned to Keys’ cornrow bun, that would spark something bigger. “Jennifer and I discussed how we could evolve this moment,” Nai’vasha said. “I imagined things that seemed to come from a vault or archives of some sort – very old! – and we relied on those thoughts.”
Behr and Nai’vasha’s initial collaboration has since blossomed into a new limited edition collection of golden hair accessories, released today. “The process started with us wanting to amp up the nostalgia for the 2020 Grammy’s with Alicia,” says Nai’vasha. “We wanted to bounce off of these hairstyles that we created, but make it a complete and masterful collection.” During the planning phase of the 11-piece collection, which includes combs, headpieces and hairpins designed to stand alone or layer, “woman warrior” was a phrase that kept coming up, Nai’vasha says. The duo drew inspiration from the goddesses and warriors of ancient mythology, drawing on everything from Greek tiaras to medieval royalty. From there, they selected materials including rich golden flowers and sculpted leaves, amber Swarovski crystals and delicate brass chains. “The gold leaf reminds me of when I grew up in Memphis, while the chains are really the energy of New York,” says Nai’vasha, who likens the headbands in particular to “bolstered tiaras.” .
“We wanted to build golden armor, something that felt solid, but had a delicate flexibility and sense of movement,” Behr explains. “That’s how we both talked about the strength of women; something that is both strong and beautiful, fluid and magical. We wanted to convey the golden material, the delicate nature and the movement through all the pieces.
It was also important to strike the right balance between versatility and striking shapes and embellishments. “As a designer, I’m more drawn to larger-than-life ornate designs, ones that are super dramatic and allow you to let your creativity run wild,” Behr says. “After designing them, I distill elements from the materials and shapes to create more wearable designs. It was important from the start that these pieces were accessible, and not just in the hands of a professional. She cites the collection’s Salana Cage, an all-crystal cage mask, as an example. “It’s grand, yet delicate, and references medieval helmets and mysterious veils in a modern way,” Behr explains. is also exemplified by the Nia Bobby Pin Chains, which find simple bobby pins accented by long crystal chains.” Everything in the collection was designed to work in tandem and allow pieces to be styled from endless variety. ways,” says Behr.
For Nai’vasha, one of the centerpieces of the collection is the Imani Gold Chain Comb, an arrangement of crystal-encrusted gold flowers with a cascade of hip-skimming chains, best showcased in a bun or in a ponytail. “I have never seen anything from afar [like it]said Nai’vasha. “It looks like an old piece of jewelry. It screams wealth! And then there are the Calypso and Sade headbands, which nod to Nai’vasha’s sculptural braided styles. “These headbands are some of the most striking pieces we’ve done,” Behr says. “They have an incredible presence that is extraordinarily rich.” Ultimately, the goal was for every woman who dons one of these pieces to feel regal as they move around the world. “One of the creative qualities we share is drama,” Nai’vasha says, “whether it’s going to the bodega or going to the gala…drama is always welcome in our book.”
Of course, the campaign for the Jennifer Behr x Nai’vasha collaboration had to reflect the cool majesty of the collection. Drawing from their network of muses and friends, the duo chose models they believed embodied the spirit of the collection, including funk singer Adeline and stylist and fashion editor Rajni Jacques. “They carry an insignia and a delicate strength that speaks directly to the collaboration messaging,” says Nai’vasha. Launching during International Women’s Month, the collection is coming on schedule as far as they’re concerned. As Nai’vasha says, “Couldn’t be a more perfect time for our female warriors to roar!”
vogueThe favorites of
Sarah Jessica Parker answers all of our 73 questions: